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Dynamic head tracking takes Spatial Audio to the next level in Apple Music

By Aaron Yip - on 22 Sep 2021, 1:17pm

Dynamic head tracking takes Spatial Audio to the next level in Apple Music

Apple's latest iOS 15 as well as iPadOS 15 releases brought with it plenty of quality of life updates as well as new features for your iPhone and iPad devices. For fans of immersive audio, the new updates also activated dynamic head tracking for Apple Music tracks that support the company's Spatial Audio technology.

Spatial Audio support for Apple Music arrived in June and is built on Dolby Atmos technology. The feature applies directional audio filters and frequency modulation to simulate a three-dimensional audio space for headphone users. Now it can also track a listener's head position through accelerometer data to create the illusion that sound output is mapped to a device. So however you turn your head, the sound field pans left or right to give you a convincing illusion that the music is coming from all around you

It can even work with stereo tracks, as Apple hardware can ‘spatialize’ and ‘head track’ the audio, so stereo sources get the perception of a spatial experience.

The caveat here is that the new feature will only work so long as you're using the AirPods Pro or AirPods Max, otherwise only the 'regular' spatial audio and Dolby Atmos are available for AirPods or Beats earphones owners.

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